Palazzo Barberini Now Art Gallery in Rome, Italy

Above this palace entrance is a coat of arms displaying three bees. This was the curious symbol for the Barberini family. The wealthy dynasty began in Florence with Antonio Barberini in the first half of the 16th century. His descendants flourished in Rome during the 17th century. In 1623, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini became Pope Urban VIII. To flaunt his position and create a venue for his flamboyant taste for art, he commissioned Palazzo Barberini. This was one of several extravagant projects he ordered. His lavish spending left the papal coffers in debt by the time he died in 1644. Today, Barberini Palace houses the National Gallery of Ancient Art. The museum has a collection of 1,400 artworks from the 13th to the 18th centuries.

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Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

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